updated 09:25 am EST, Tue November 20, 2007
German iPhone stopped?
Germany's legal system has granted a preliminary injunction against T-Mobile sales of the iPhone, filings reveal. Reuters reports that the measure was instigated by rival carrier Vodafone, which argued that the iPhone should not be sold under its current terms, requiring buyers to agree to a two-year T-Mobile contract; moreover, the phone is engineered to be difficult if not impossible to unlock. A number of European countries explicitly allow unlocking, and in some cases forbid carriers from selling exclusive contracts.
T-Mobile says it has been informed of the injunction, but will for the time being keep selling the iPhone. "The legal basis for the injunction is currently being examined," a representative explains. A spokeswoman for the court ruling in the matter, meanwhile, says that T-Mobile is allowed to file an objection.
Vodafone says that it does not want to stop the iPhone entirely, but rather have the courts determine whether the terms it is sold under in Germany are acceptable. A representative from London notes that the company's objections are linked exclusively to Germany, and so no injunctions are planned in France or the United Kingdom, where Vodafone and the iPhone also co-exist.
The carrier had once been considered a leading contender for the iPhone in Europe, but CEO Arun Sarin has repeatedly told the press that he will not take the iPhone until it has 3G broadband, a feature common to many high-end European cellphones.